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The meaning of Rivera
1. Spanish: habitational name from any of several places called Rivera, from ribera ‘bank, shore’ (from Late Latin riparia). Compare De Rivera. 2. Catalan and Italian (southern): variant of Ribera, a cognate of 1 above. 3. Italian: habitational name from either of two places called Rivera, in Piedmont and Verbania. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Juan, Luis, Carlos, Angel, Miguel, Manuel, Francisco, Jesus, Pedro, Jorge, Roberto.
Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.
How common is the last name Rivera in the United States?
Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Rivera has experienced a significant increase in popularity between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it was ranked as the 59th most popular surname with a count of roughly 299,463 individuals. By 2010, the rank had improved to 46th, reflecting a substantial growth of 22.03%. The count of individuals bearing this surname also increased by 30.61% from 299,463 to 391,114 during this period. Thus, for every 100,000 individuals, there were approximately 111.01 and 132.59 people named Rivera in 2000 and 2010 respectively, showing an uptick of 19.44%.
|Proportion per 100k||111.01||132.59||19.44%|
Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Rivera
As per the ethnic identity breakdown from the same census data, a vast majority of individuals with the surname Rivera identified as Hispanic, accounting for 90.17% in 2000 and 91.06% in 2010 — a slight increase of 0.99%. White representation among this surname decreased slightly from 5.92% to 5.40%, while those identifying as Black dropped from 1.06% to 0.95%. Additionally, individuals identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander made up 2.06% in 2000, which then marginally decreased to 2.04% in 2010. Those identifying as having two or more races reduced significantly from 0.55% to 0.37%, and the American Indian and Alaskan Native category saw a 25% decrease, going from 0.24% to 0.18%. Please note that any figures marked with an (S) have been suppressed to protect privacy.
|Two or More Races||0.55%||0.37%||-32.73%|
|American Indian and Alaskan Native||0.24%||0.18%||-25%|
rivera ancestry composition
23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Rivera is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 42.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Indigenous American (21.3%) and British & Irish (9.8%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Filipino & Austronesian, Senegambian & Guinean, Nigerian, and Italian.
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|Spanish & Portuguese||42.2%|
|British & Irish||9.8%|
Possible origins of the surname rivera
Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.
Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Rivera have recent ancestry locations in Puerto Rico and undefined.
|RECENT ANCESTRY Location||Percentage|
|Lajas, Puerto Rico||42.70%|
|Mayaguez, Puerto Rico||42.70%|
|Maunabo, Puerto Rico||42.70%|
|Maricao, Puerto Rico||42.70%|
What rivera haplogroups can tell you
Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.
The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Rivera is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include Q-M3 and E-M183, which are predominantly found among people with East Asian & Indigenous American and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Rodriguez, Torres, Gonzalez, Perez, Ortiz, Medina, Castro, Ruiz, Romero, Garcia.
The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Rivera surname are: A2, B2, C1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.
Your maternal lineage may be linked to some of the first Americans
Though the Ice Age was beginning to retreat when your A2 ancestors first entered North America, there were still massive barriers blocking their way. Glaciers and inhospitable climate covered much of the continent, blocking entry into the interior. Nonetheless, researchers have found evidence that a wave of American founders migrated over 13,000 kilometers to reach southern Chile in only 2,000 years, a blink of an eye in the story of human migration! Their highway to the south was the coast of the Pacific, stocked with fish, diverse marine mammals, and other valuable resources in the rich kelp forests of the upper latitudes and in the abundant fresh-water rivers near the equator. Because of this rapid movement south, the A2 haplogroup and its diverse branches are found throughout North and South America.
What do people with the surname Rivera have in common?
Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.
Chocolate Ice Cream
Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.
"Rivera" Surname 37.0%
23andMe Users 41.3%
When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.
"Rivera" Surname 35.6%
23andMe Users 27.9%
Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.
"Rivera" Surname 21.3%
23andMe Users 21.1%
A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
"Rivera" Surname 15.6%
23andMe Users 16.4%